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Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas Attendance: 11,227
UTEP grinds out 27-10 victory over heavily favored Boise St.
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EL PASO, Texas (AP) Gavin Hardison threw for one touchdown, Marcus Bellon returned a punt for another score and UTEP defeated Boise State 27-10 on Friday night.
Bellon's 47-yard punt return gave a Miners a 20-10 lead late in the third quarter. The Miners iced the game with a 14-play, 80-yard drive that took 9:10 off the clock in the fourth quarter. Reynaldo Flores capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.
Although the Miners (2-3) outgained the Broncos 148-53 in the first half, UTEP didn't take the lead until Hardison hit Jeremiah Ballard with a 42-yard touchdown pass with 2:10 remaining in the second quarter. It was the first career touchdown reception for Ballard, a redshirt freshman.
Hardison completed 10 of 11 passes for 123 yards. The Miners had 199 yards on the ground, led by Deion Hankins with 21 carries for 86 yards.
Gavin Baechle added two field goals for UTEP.
Boise State's Hank Bachmeier completed only 13 of 34 passes for 93 yards. The Broncos (2-2) had 84 yards rushing and only 177 yards total offense.
UTEP, a 16 1/2-point underdog, controlled the ball for 40 minutes and 35 seconds.
It was UTEP's first victory over Boise State. The Broncos lead the series 6-1.
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Updated September 24, 2022